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The Best Airline Meals

Once the butt of jokes, in-flight meals are moving up in the world as airlines elevate their standard menus with high-end chef collaborations.

Published on Oct 31, 2016

to sad pasta days past al dente, most airline meals are grim. Bitty galley kitchens would be enough to make feeding the masses daunting, even if dry air and low cabin pressures didn’t blunt our sense of taste. A number of airlines in recent years have risen to the challenge though, creating dining options that are not merely palatable, but actually pleasurable. +The latest to up their game is Hainan Airlines, which launched its Restaurant on Board collaboration with a Michelin-lauded team last August. For now, the fancier fare is only available on European routes, but there are plans to expand. + Singapore Airlines helped pioneer the concept, hauling in a panel of culinary gurus like Yoshihiro Murata, Georges Blanc and Carlo Cracco—with a combined 12 Michelin stars—to lend their expertise on dishes on offer to even Economy and Premium class passengers. + Qatar enlisted chef Nobu Matsuhisa to add some star-power to its First and Business menus. + Cathay Pacific asked for menu help from Mandarin Oriental last year to give passengers to Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, New York and Milan a full-on fine dining experience. You’ll never be stuck hoarding bags of pretzels again. D.H.


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